Tue, Nov 19, 2013 -- 10:00 AM

Decline in the Humanities in Higher Education

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At Stanford University, nearly 45 percent of faculty members for undergraduates are in humanities departments -- but fewer and fewer students are taking those classes. Fewer than 18 percent of undergraduate applicants have a primary interest in the humanities. Schools nationally are seeing more students pick pre-professional majors that they see as having a more direct route to a job after college. Only about 7 percent of undergraduates major in the humanities nationally. That's about half as many as did in the 1970s. We discuss the values of a humanities education and what the downward trend means for schools and society.

Host: Michael Krasny


  • Debra Satz, professor of philosophy at Stanford University and senior associate dean for the humanities and arts
  • Richard Brodhead, president, Duke University; co-chair of the Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Scott Saul, director of undergraduate studies in the English Department at UC Berkeley

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